China (high)Rises?

China is now the biggest manufacturer in the world.  I hope to go next year and see the rural economy by teaching there.  Current GDP growth there is still high, but I’d like to know what this is based on.  Command economies make no sense to me whether on their scale or the IMF stuff we are supposed to swallow.

Potential students and their teachers have sent me some interesting emails, including pictures of ghost cities that are springing up.  It seems they have a massive property bubble likely to be bigger than anything Ireland or the US has seen.  The reasons seem much the same.  Money, or in their case Central Office, dictates building that has nothing to do with what people need.  There are now at least 10 massive ghost cities in China.  It seems GDP growth is the CO’s fetish and local authorities just do what they are told.

The madness everywhere seems to concern the lack of connection between work and this being relevant to what people need and can afford.  Those of us sitting in houses we actually own may be in for a shock if genuine market forces come to bear.  China has around 64 million empty flats, and loads of people living two families to one.  Strangely, the UK has loads of empty bedrooms and plenty of people growing up in overcrowding.

Chinese military spending is high to keep the army sweet.  We have to wonder what will happen once economies start to go into default  and work evaporates as we stop buying junk.  I’d hoped to go over there this year to live fairly close to basics just to see if there is anything I miss.  It seems they are already struggling to get jobs in a real economy as much as we are.

I suspect the answer is in a real, global and green economy – but the sub-answer in this has to contain something on motivation.

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